by Andrew Collins
News comes of the discovery of a
hitherto unknown Dead Sea Scroll that scholars believe, if
genuine, could be 'the archaeological discovery of the century',
according to the 11 October 1999 edition of the JERUSALEM REPORT.
Known as the 'Angel Scroll', it
is apparently loaded with Jewish mystical imagery, descriptions of
angels and detail which shows that it could provide the missing link
between the Dead Sea community and the teachings of the
Jerusalem Church, the earliest form of Christianity. It is
potentially more important that any of the other scrolls so far
examined and is thought to be around 2000 years old. It is composed
of 1000 lines in Hebrew, with a splattering of words in Aramaic and
The story goes that it was found by Bedouin not on the Israeli side
of the Dead Sea like the other scrolls, but in Jordan on the steep
western slopes of the mountains descending to Wadi al-Mojab,
south-east of the Dead Sea. Here it was uncovered inside a jar in a
cave alongside pieces of shard, glass and coins.
The various fragments of the text are
said to have been purchased clandestinely in Amman during the 1970s
by a team of Benedictine monk-scholars who had been searching for
just such a scroll for several years. They are alleged to have
illegally spirited it out of Jordan and taken it to a monastery on
the German-Austrian border. Here it has remained to this day, a vow
of silence being imposed on all those who have worked on its
translation for over a decade.
By all accounts, the text describes a 'tour of the heavens'
undertaken by its author in the company of an angel named 'Pnimea',
who is unquestionably
the Watcher Pênêmûe of
the Book of Enoch (Enoch I,
compiled c. 165 BC-AD 100). Like Enoch in the Book of
Enoch, the author of the Angel Scroll is taken on a
journey during which he is shown the 'secrets of the universe' and
is taught 'to contemplate signs in the sun and the stars and through
them forecast events'.
Furthermore, he is shown 'the signs
which are in the raging of the waves and the sea, and in the clouds
in the heavens', as well as 'how to use medical plants and stones to
cure disease and predict the future'.
Pênêmûe in 1Enoch is said to have
taught mankind 'the bitter and the sweet', in other words the use of
herbs and spices in foods, as well the use of 'ink and paper'. In
the Angel Scroll, Pnimea even enables its author 'to
journey back in time', so that he might 'witness creation'.
According to the JERUSALEM REPORT one of the monks, a 'Father
Gustave Mateus' carefully made photographs of entire transcriptions
of the text and decided to share knowledge of the scroll with a
trusted colleague, a German-born Israeli. When the monk died in
1996, at the age of 70, a lawyer informed the confidant that
Father Mateus had bequeathed to him a package of material that
included the photographs showing the transcriptions, along with
sections of the text translated into English and German and
extensive handwritten notes.
These eventually came into the
possession of two Israelis, both professionals, who knew Father
Mateus but said that he had never discussed the existence of the
scroll with them. They studied the text for three years before
deciding to bring it to the attention of the magazine.
Father Mateus apparently considered the Angel Scroll
to be 'one of the most important and thrilling documents of all
time' and one of,
'the earliest sources for both the
Jewish and Christian esoteric and mystic literature. In fact, I
discovered in it the source for the beginning of Christianity,
and the point of contact between it and the Jewish sects'.
He wanted the knowledge it contained to
be revealed to the world and this is now what a secretive group
of Jewish scholars intend to see happen.
Yet there are some major problems in accepting the authenticity of
the scroll, not least of all its apparent dedication. At the
beginning of the text it reads:
'To Yeshua, son of Pediya
the priest, the holy one'.
Yeshua is the Hebrew form of
Jesus, a fact that will instantly raise eyebrows among Jewish
scholars. However, as we shall see after the publication of
Graham Phillips' remarkable new book
THE MARIAN CONSPIRACY (2000), this
dedication makes perfect sense of what we know about the true
parentage of Jesus.
Netty C. Gross is the author of the article on the Angel
Scroll which appeared in the JERUSALEM REPORT during
October 1999. After being shown both its transcription and Father
Mateus' original notes, he provided copies of these to Stephen
Pfann, a member of the 55-strong team currently studying the
Dead Sea Scrolls in the possession of Israel. He is also the
editor of the forthcoming COMPREHENSIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE DEAD
Although Pfann remains skeptical about
the authenticity of the scroll, since no one has been allowed to see
it, he says that if it is a hoax then 'it's a very, very good one.'
If it is genuine, he says, it could be 'the discovery of the
century' and could have 'profound implications for historians of
both Judaism and Christianity.'
He is heartened by the fact that it
contains many, what he calls, 'Qumranisms' in that, like the known
Dead Sea Scrolls, it uses Aramaic
and Greek words as well as terms such as 'Sons of light' and the
'new' or 'renewed covenant'. It also names
Yahweh as 'El' and Satan
as 'Belial'. More pointedly, it uses terms familiar to the
'languages and concepts reminiscent of the teachings of Jesus
and the writings of the apostle Paul', suggesting that its authors
were familiar with the concepts of the Jerusalem Church.
The scroll also contains sections
similar to existent Dead Sea texts such as the 'Rule
of the Community' and 'The
War Scroll'. In addition to this, other sections are also
reminiscent of the Third Book of Enoch, a text of the third
or fourth century AD, seen as a precursor to the medieval mystical
teachings of the kabbalah. One main theme is knowledge of
something called the 'divine throne', a subject that crops up in I
Enoch, the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Daniel. Finding it in a
Qumrân text Pfann says 'would mark the first time we see a
fully developed 1st century text on Jewish mysticism. That would be
This realization is bound to be derided by orthodox Jews since it is
clear that the Essenes, the sect regularly identified as the
Dead Sea community, who were previously considered to be an
isolationist, separatist sect, now appear responsible for the
development of mainstream Jewish mysticism.
Other Jewish scholars so far consulted on the existence and
authenticity of the Angel Scroll remain non-committal. It has
even been suggested that it could be an elaborate hoax 'designed to
heighten Christian sensibilities on the eve of the new millennium'.
From my own point of view, and not having seen any part of the text,
I can only comment on the statements made in respect to the author's
journey to heaven in the company of the angel 'Pnimea', Pênêmûe
of the Book of Enoch. The angel's role as revealer of the secrets of
heaven is here exemplified. Yet in
the Secrets of the Book of Enoch (2Enoch),
a Greek text of the first century AD derived from a Hebrew original,
we find Enoch being transported to the Seven Heavens in a manner
similar to that of the author of the Angel Scroll.
Here, however, the angel who accompanies
Enoch is not Pênêmûe, one of the 200 rebel Watchers,
but Raphael, a Watcher who remained loyal to heaven
after the time of the fall. This subtle alteration is greatly
significant, since it indicates that when the Greek form of
2Enoch was being compiled this important role played in the
original Hebrew text by a fallen angel was considered blasphemous
enough to be expiated from the revised text.
The role would appear to have been
transferred at some later point to the more respectable Raphael, who
evolved into one of the principal archangels in later Christian
mysticism and iconography. This might therefore be an example of how
the original importance played by the rebel
Watchers, or fallen angels, as the
givers of heavenly knowledge to mortal kind, was gradually expiated
from later Enochian texts, such as 2Enoch.
This is just a suggestion, and in time hopefully we shall all learn
more about the contents of the Angel Scroll. Yet if it does
turn out to contain new material on the role played by the
Watchers in the exposure of heavenly matters to human kind, then
it could add dramatically to our understanding of their development
in earliest Jewish literature.
Account taken from Gross, Netty C.,
'The Mystery of the Angel Scroll: Find of the Century or
Elaborate Hoax?', JERUSALEM REPORT, 11 October 1999.
Quotes from the Book of Enoch taken
from R. H. Charles, THE BOOK OF ENOCH OR 1 ENOCH, OUP, 1912. See
also Morfill, W. R., trans., and edit. and intro. R. H. Charles,
THE BOOK OF THE SECRETS OF ENOCH, Clarendon Press, Oxford/OUP,
Many thanks to Mark Pilkington of
FORTEAN TIMES for bringing this story to my attention and for
providing a copy of the article from the JERUSALEM REPORT.
New 'Angel' Dead Sea Scroll
A "lost" Dead Sea Scroll
has reportedly been uncovered and if it is proven
authentic, it reveals a new understanding of how the
ancient Israelites viewed their God, his angels
and their place in the heavens.
Called the "Angel Scroll," it is a thousand lines
long, was purchased in Jordan in 1970 by a group of
Benedictine monks and spirited away to their German
monastery. Upon his death in 1977, one of the group,
Father Gustav Mateus, bequeathed his photographs
and hand transcriptions of the scroll to an unnamed
Jerusalem college administrator. He handed the material
over to Stephan Phann, a member of the team of
scholars translating the scrolls held by the Israeli
government, and his findings were released to the
newsmagazine The Jerusalem Report.
Phann has declared that, "If the scroll is a
hoax, it's a very good one. It's a serious literary
But others are more skeptical. The existence of Father
Mateus has not been proven and the Jerusalem Report,
little more than a source of disinformation for the
Labor Party, is hardly a reliable venue. That said,
experts are in general agreement that the text of the
scroll so far released "feels" genuine.
What little of the scroll that has been released,
reveals its storyline is a journey to the heavens
accompanied by angels. According to Phann, the
text is full of "divine chariot-throne themes with
elaborate details of angels ascending heaven's multiple
gates." And this should be of great interest to the
minions (most inspired by Von Danieken) who take
a literal view the bible's words, putting the many
references to wheels within wheels, flying scrolls,
pillars of fire, etc. into a UFO context.
Longtime Israeli ufologist, now a student of kabala,
Mordechai Spasser believes it would be a mistake to
interpret the new scroll from a UFO viewpoint.
"What I've read
appears to me to be philosophy on an astral plane,
or simply, Jewish mysticism."
Keeping that possibility
in mind, or melding it with the popular UFO readings of
extant Jewish holy scriptures, here are two passages
from the Angel Scroll, with my literal interpretation
"And the Angel Pnimea
said to me: "And son of man, lift up your eyes and
see all the secrets... that are in the fourth gate
which is the gate of birth. And I saw, and it was
like the womb and the chambers of the stomach, and
its waters gush and roar like the breakers of the
sea on the wall of the cave, which cannot withstand
And here is a seed of
life in the water emanating from the seed of man and
from the seed of the woman for male and female that
He created. And the seed that is joined from the two
seeds is not like a clean slate. It is written
inside and outside and it has within knowledge and
understanding before its creation and before its
creation in the womb. And the beginning of the child
is not in the birth or in conception nor is its end
It appears that the
narrator was shown an advanced real-time version of our
pathetic ultrasound technology. He stands before a gate,
or unknown to him, a monitor and sees male ejaculation
into the womb, including a closeup of sperm and egg.
He witnesses conception
and is then told the secrets of DNA and genes.
Pointedly, God has created both within mankind.
"According to the plan
of that day, the Voice went forth to me and directed
me and he drove me by the Spirit. And a vision was
revealed to me from the Most High, and Pancimeia,
Prince of Angels lifted me up in the Spirit and I
ascended heavenward above the high places of the
clouds and he showed me the great world and the
image of the gods.
And I pondered the
appearance round about and there was no time and no
place and their appearance from the dwelling places
of light was like a rainbow in the clouds. And they
had no bodies and no bodily structure and the
dominion of darkness was over all of the earth round
Now this is one accurate
description of a trip in the Space Shuttle. First the
traveller passes above cloud level. He observes the high
places of the clouds, possibly those ridges unseen at
ground level. Then he sees the earth from space and it
is surrounded by darkness.
He is shown images of the
gods and their homes on a control monitor and marvels at
the fine color quality and at the bizarre fact that
there is no firmament to the images on the screen.
That said and interpreted, I for one, am looking forward
to reading the full text of the Angel Scroll.